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Off Topic > Goodbye, space program ...

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (amandamlyons) :( Carl Sagan would have been so upset.

message 3: by Eileen (new)

Eileen It's very sad!!! Now we are hitching a ride with the Russians. What would JFK think?

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I just don't understand...

They couldn't give NASA enough funding to not just continue, but actually strive for more? Nope but let's just keep going to war and giving bailouts and wasting money on idiocy instead.


message 5: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I think you're right, Tracey. The space program will only get funded if the public is constantly aware of and excited about it.

I remember after the first (?) explosion, NASA became a running gag in some places due to the amount of funding it needed. Do you remember the movie Independence Day? THere was one scene where the president finds out about a "real area 51" and he asked how they got the funding for the program. The cynical response from one of the characters was something like: Do you really think that they need all that stuff for NASA? $50K for a nail, $45k for a toilet seat?

It's really sad that the program is being cut like this. I can only hope that we'll get our lives together so the program can get re-started one day.

message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica (bookpsycho) That just sucks! This country keeps pissing me off.

message 7: by Mach (new)

Mach | 572 comments It seems like the Russians will be the first ones on Mars or maybe the Chinese they seem to have the money for it, i don't care who it is as long as someone travels there.

message 8: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) It's the space shuttle program that is being shuttered. Not NASA. There us still going to be an American presence in space.

message 9: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments After the 1969 Moon landing, I became convinced that we wouldn't really colonize space until someone figured out a way to make such an enterprise pay. For a long time, though, NASA did its best to maintain a monopoly on space travel.
All of that is ending now. Russia might maintain some heavy launch capacity, but it's never going to Mars. How well or badly China does depends on whether or not they create their own NASA-type program. If they do, while they might get to Mars they'll never be able to colonize it. In effect, while the space program did get us some useful information and developed early spacefaring engineering, in the end it took us down a blind alley and delayed commercial exploitation.

message 10: by Mach (last edited Jul 09, 2011 11:00PM) (new)

Mach | 572 comments I am not talking about colonization, i want to see people walking on Mars, if they then manage to somehow terraform the planet it would be great but i doubt it will happen in our life time, but i am a firm believer that mankind will get to Mars while i am still breathing. But now that the US economy is so bad, i don't think the government can afford it, atleast not this decade. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

message 11: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments Tracey: No, that's not at all what I'm saying, but I wouldn't be surprised if some years or decades after a lunar or Martian colony is established a McDonald's appears there.
I saw '2001: A Space Odyssey' when it first came out, and I liked the idea that Pan Am ran scheduled flights to the space station and Howard Johnson's had a restaurant there. Judging by the muted chuckles I heard, the rest of the audience liked it too. Alas, Pan Am no longer exists and Howard Johnson's isn't what it used to be, but at the time that the movie came out they both served as symbols of American commerce, much as McDonald's does today, all over this globe.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments The thing is i would probably already pay if the government would get completely out of the way. The problem of militarization still exists and now we've basically tried to wash our hands of space. There needs to be a space program that's handled with less waste (yah, I know the entire government needs to handled with less waste). And a reduction in governmental controls and some heavy tax incentives to get the space program(s) up and running again.

But I doubt it will happen. Maybe if somebody spots an asteroid that's going to collide with Earth about 20 years out... Otherwise, probably not.

We live in the galactic equivalent of an uninsured house.

message 13: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments I believe it was Jerry Pournelle who said that the Earth is too fragile a basket for humanity to keep all its eggs in.
Getting into space has been difficult and expensive. It's unrealistic to expect any government to keep footing the bill while they have so many other things to spend taxpayer's money on that seem to show more promise of securing increased power and constant re-election. There's a whole solar system out there waiting for us.

message 14: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments DO you guys think we'll see some eccentric billionaires put up some privately run space programs now?

message 15: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments We're already seeing that, but it's not taking 'eccentric' billionaires.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

For Sale



message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmm....I guess I'm all alone in not being bothered by the end of the space program. Don't get me wrong I think it'll be an important endeavor in the future but I think there are so many more important things that could be funded now than space exploration. Even when that day comes, I have to say I like the idea of an international agency working jointly with the most powerful nations in the world to explore space. I mean can you imagine if we keep the current system in the future when we actually do have the technology to live on another world? It's just more territory and more natural resources which is just one more reason for international conflict. A world authority it likely a pipe dream but I enjoy the dream nonetheless

message 18: by Scott (new)

Scott It's just a shame that so much money has been wasted elsewhere that could have been put into something constructive like this.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Can't argue with that. There are some Ridiculous government funded research programs out there. I mean Re-fucking-diculous.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I'd say that there are ways the government has wasted money more egregiously than some research... The department of Health, Education. and Welfare should all go to the states... National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the humanities, Public radio, public TV, grant's to study everything from the sex life of earthworms to the feasibility of making the Frisbee into a weapon...congressional salaries...thousands if not millions of buildings, bridges, roadworks built so than can be named after politicians, dozens of federal Czars (not provided for in the Constitution by the way), every earmark from every congressman from any given party....

I could go on, but you get the idea.

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Wait, wait, wait.

Grants to study the feasibility of turning a frisbee into a weapon?

Sonuvabitch. I really need to get me one of them grants...

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I arrive in D.C. for my appointment with the gubmint money peoples

"No sir, really.

It's not just a book, it's also a weapon! See, the pages are springloaded. One click and your enemy is dies from a thousand papercuts.

All I need is, say, a few million to study this..."

They give me all the moneys

message 23: by Scott (new)

Scott Not to mention those pesky wars.

message 24: by Scott (new)

Scott Same here. That would be a terrible loss.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments My wife was an artist, and strangely never needed a government grant... Everyone will have their favorite program that shouldn't be touched I suppose. I'm not against "art". But if a person can't sell their art, because it's made of elephant dung, or it's performance art where bloody Tshirts blooded by slashing the back of an AIDs victim are suspended over an audience, or it's a Crucifix suspended upside down in a bottle of urine (all these and more funded by tax dollars), then maybe the person should find a private source of funding rather than a government grant????

Not trying to offend. BUT the government doesn't seem to care that they fund people who offend me.

Social Security was paid into by every person in this country who works, and congress stole the money and put it in the general fund, then has the gall to say "it's (Social Security)running out of money. "They" (Congress) will threaten Veteran's benefits, disability, SS, and still keep right on paying themselves, their staffs, their own benefit packages, and even their hangers on....

I'm not a huge fan of governmental clap-trap.

By the way. I have no problem with any of the things I mentioned, but they don't need to be tax payer funded. Public TV and radio can be public. They run their telethons constantly anyway, they need to be truly publicly funded, by members and corporate sponsors. My only gripe is the tax payer money.

message 26: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments The federal government really has no business providing that funding in the first place, but it's done so that career politicians can get re-elected. And re-elected. And re-elected. They had to pry Teddy Kennedy's cold, dead hands from his Senate seat, for example, and I'd really rather not have to count on natural causes all that much.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments No hard feelings Tracey. I do disagree with you, but am not trying to be disagreeable. I struggled with some of this in my life and have listened to the debates in the few months with growing frustration. I understand your feelings. I simply believe that a lot of small expenditures add up.

Please don't feel that my disagreeing with you in any way effects how I feel about you. (So far LOL) I still have friends in the "face to face" world that I totally disagree with, but we're still friends. I feel the same way here. We may each think the other totally wrong but we can still be friends.

message 28: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments If people find a way to run successful businesses in space, there'll be no keeping us out. NASA did some useful and spectacular things, and overall I'd say that their spectacular successes outweighed their equally spectacular failures. But the organization currently has no clear mission, no unifying direction, and has lost the glamour of the 60s, 70s and 80s. I wouldn't eliminate it completely, as it still can perform some useful functions. But NASA was never going to lead the way in space colonization.

message 29: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 350 comments Politics is a dangerous subject. I'm opposite to Mike, and on those political orientation tests usually end up south east of Gandhi. That aside, the split in the Republican party is smelling of revolution or even civil war.

The space program is not over, just taking another direction. The shuttle program is over. Let's not forget all of the industries created and advanced by the needs of he Space program - like all of the PC's we use... I suppose it will take something like China developing the moon for us to really get going again. America, I hope, still likes a challenge and winning races. Besides, "the Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."

message 30: by Scott (new)

Scott Mike, are you really still hung up on a few works from over twenty years ago? What about everything else? The NEA does a lot more than fund individual artists. Museums, scholarships, education, quality radio and television, even initiatives that benefit military... too much to list here but it's all at their website if you're interested.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

As a random note, every time I look at this thread I get a song stuck in my head. It's barely relevant, but eh...

"Some people call me the space cowboy..."

message 32: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Jul 18, 2011 01:18PM) (new)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I'm stepping back Scott, the point was these are examples of what we spend money on. The statement "a billion here a billion there and pretty soon we're talking real money" expresses our government's attitude. All these programs say the same thing "we only cost a few..." be it million or billion we have to cut the luxuries. Yes NEA, NEH and others are luxuries. We are facing a crisis, I mean a society ending crisis.

I could go on, I could tell you about me, my life, my experience and then you could do the same but the bottom line is if we don't change while we can voluntarily we'll be forced to if for no other reason that inflation will wipe out our economy.

Yes, it eats at me a bit. I'm one of the older people who doesn't really have the option of starting over...though I still hope to get published. :)

I suppose we'll never agree, but I hope we can get close enough to keep things from crashing.

I mean no offense here nor do I want to offen, just answering question.

Maybe we should move on.

message 33: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I think, at the end of the day we all want the same things.

Conservative, liberal, blue, red, gay, straight, religious, etc.

We all want our country to succeed.

We all want to succeed ourselves. We all want the very best that life can offer our loved ones. We all want to leave this world a better place when we depart.

No one wants to see children mistreated, unloved or poorly educated. No one wants to see people (either themselves or others) forced into doing something against their will.

We hope for an end to poverty, slavery, terrorism, oppression, hunger and homelessness.

At the end of the day, no matter what, we all have more in common than not

The rest is just the minor details. :-D

message 34: by Eileen (new)

Eileen I'm pressing the "LIKE" button!!

MrsJoesph, perfectly said!!!!

message 35: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "I think, at the end of the day we all want the same things.

Conservative, liberal, blue, red, gay, straight, religious, etc.

We all want our country to succeed.

We all want to succeed oursel..."

Couldn't have said that better, meself! :)

message 36: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Why thank you. :-)

message 37: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments The disagreements come over what way we should go to achieve success and what that success should look like when we arrive.There is also room for considerable argument over what 'making the world a better place' means. These are not minor details. Wars have been fought over them.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

*rolls eyes* oh shut up, S.J. Take the comment in the spirt it was meant.

*mutters annoyedly to self*

Great comment, MrsJ :)

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I, for one, would like to see the country go down in flames. And take the rest of the world with it.

Bring on the Apocalypse, baby, wooooooooo!

*runs around throwing bricks*

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Ala wrote: "I, for one, would like to see the country go down in flames. And take the rest of the world with it.

Bring on the Apocalypse, baby, wooooooooo!

*runs around throwing bricks*"

Oh wow! That made me laugh out loud.

message 41: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments I understand the spirit in which the comment was intended. I just think that the spirit, however commendable, is misplaced. Nazis thought that the world would be a better place without any Jews, and did their best to make their country succeed. Communists think that the world would be a better place without capitalism. Moslems think that the world would be a better place without any infidels. And many people think that the world would be a better place if some other people would just shut up.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

I see your viewpoint, nonetheless, I think you're simply looking more deeply than necessary into a fairly benign comment. *shakes head* Nazi's and Communists and Muslims? Really?

message 43: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments And Godwin's Law proves to be valid again.

Conversation over.

message 44: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments Godwin's Law refers to likening one's opposite number in a disagreement to a Nazi or to Hitler, not to bringing up Nazis to illustrate a point.

message 45: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%)."[3][2] In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form.[citation needed] The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

Although in one of its early forms Godwin's law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions,[5] the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches.

message 46: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Seriously, SJ. Nazis? Really? Nazis.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I think we need to slip away from politics....

It was a celebratory mood with the boys at NASA -- they had just made the scientific achievement of a lifetime. As they were uncorking a bottle of champagne, the head scientist at NASA asked everyone to be quiet as he was receiving a congratulatory phone call from the President of the United States.

He picked up a special red phone, and spoke into it. "Mr. President," he said with a broad smile on his face, "After twelve years of hard research and billions of dollars spent, we have finally found intelligent life on Mars."

He listened for a second, and his smile gradually disappeared, replaced by a frown. He said, "But that's impossible... we could never do it... yes, Mr. President," and hung up the phone.

He addressed the crowd of scientists staring at him curiously. "I have some bad news," he said, "the President said that now that we've found intelligent life on Mars... he wants us to try to find it in the Congress."

Bill Clinton, Newt Ginrich and Dan Quayle were riding in a car in the mid-west.. Along came a tornado and picked up the car and threw it 100s of miles away - As they were climbing out of the car and checking themselves for injuries, Newt Gingrich exclaimed that he thought they were in OZ - he said "I'm going to see the wizard and ask for a heart", Dan Quayle said "I'm going to see the wizard and ask for a brain".....Bill said "Where's Dorthy?"

Sorry,lost control, I couldn't resist. Now we should slip away from politics... :)

message 48: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments Yes. Nazis. Seriously. I could also have mentioned the fact that the Communists under Stalin starved millions of Soviet citizens, mostly Ukranians, to death in pursuit of a better world, or that the Khmer Rouge, also in pursuit of a better world, murdered an even higher percentage of their population than Stalin's minions did. I used Nazis as an example more people were likely to be familiar with. Invoking Godwin's Law here in no way invalidates the point I was making, and in fact strikes me as a way of telling me to shut up again by appealing to authority. (Godwin, in this case.) I didn't even use Nazis as my only example, but there is not, apparently, any Godwin's law referring to Communists or Jihadists.

message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

not sure if serious

or just trollin'

message 50: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Wait a minute.

YOU compare me & my statement - a rather benign and nice statement at that - to Nazis and now YOU want to get offended?

Please. If anyone is offended I am.

As said before. Conversation over.

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